Good Morning Angels: 'Joining Hands' for a mother in need

Good Morning Angels: 'Joining Hands' for a mother in need

"Joining Hands" for a mother of many special needs babies and children.

GMA kinderhuis Dianne and Martin


It’s not an exaggeration to call Carina van Heerden “the mother of many”. She has a son of her own, who is all grown up, but when he was 16, Carina and her husband turned their home into a place for the most vulnerable children in our society. As the saying goes: "It takes a village to raise a child”, so they registered their home under the name “Joining Hands”. They opted to take in four babies at a time, which were up for adoption, on a short-term basis. 

What’s more, she takes the babies who have special needs, that other homes or facilities are wary to care for. Some of the children have stayed for up to 17 months, due to varying circumstances, and some have become permanent members of the family.

Carina and her husband have adopted two children and are foster parents to another three - then they still take in up to four babies at a time. Over the past 14 years, Carina has cared for 65 babies and children, on a voluntary basis as part of the Tshwane Place of Safety Association (Topsa) - which means they have to raise funds themselves.

The many years of caring for babies and children have taken its toll on Carina’s hands. Both hands have carpal tunnel and both her thumbs have dislocated. The pain in her hands prevents her from doing what she loves most and being a loving mommy to babies who don’t have their own.

She maxed out her credit cards and took a personal loan to have her one hand fixed last week … but there is no way she can do that again to do the second. Some of her friends wrote to Good Morning Angel to help this “Angel and mother of Many”. 

RECIPIENT: Carina Van Heerden, House Mother at "Joining Hands" - a place of safety for babies with special needs


ANGEL 1: Wynand Beukes, We Buy Cars

SPONSORING: WeBuyCars will donate the R50,000 needed to operate and fix Carina’s second hand

ANGEL 2: Dr Helene Basson, Operation Healing Hands

SPONSORING:  The doctor who operated on Carina’s hand last week is a member of Operation Healing Hands. The day clinic where she was operated on is also part of the OHH network. Therefore, OHH will be able to do the second-hand operation at a vastly reduced rate. The cash that’s left over will be used for medical treatment of the children in Carina’s care.

ANGEL 3: The Good Morning Angels Fund NPC

SPONSORING: Good Morning Angels Fund will refund the R55,000 Carina borrowed for the operation she had to her hand last week, so she can pay back the loans ...



My friend’s name is Carina van Heerden. She is an Angel because she is a Mother to many, LITERALLY.

She has one son of her own (he is married and independent). When he was 16 she started as a place of safety for babies in crisis. 
She always has 3 to 6 babies in her care. The idea is that she looks after the babies until they find a home, unfortunately lately is taking longer now days, the last baby was 27 months old.  Not every baby finds a home for many reasons and Carina has adopted 2 of the babies and has 3 in Foster Care with the view to adopt them, of these three of them having special needs.

Anna: (Adopted) just turned 13 years old. He has Cerebral Palsy and constantly needs botox injections, physio therapy, glasses and operations, her needs list is endless.

Leo: (Foster Care) is  2.5 years old. As  a baby, he stopped breathing at two weeks old. He is constantly monitored 24/7.  Leo also has a very mild Cerebral Palsy on his left side. Tests show he had a stoke while still a foetus. He has been diagnosed with development delays and most likely learning disabilities.

Joey: (Foster Care) has just turned 2 years old. He has allergies which causes major eczema and itching from his head to his toes. He is allergic to Cow's Milk, Soya, Eggs, Wheat, Nuts, Fish.  So major precautions on everything he eats.  This little boy is tiny, but such a buzzy bee. He is not talking yet. He needs to have a few tests done on him, such as Hearing and Speech.

Devon: (Adopted) the 9 years old gentleman of the family and doing so good at school in Grade 3.

Troy: (Foster Care) is almost 8 years old and the Gentle Giant. He enjoyed playing Rugby this year. Also doing well in Grade 2.
Which brings me to why she needs help. Carina still also looks after babies, even though her house is full with all her adopted and foster kids. A house full of 10 children.
Last week she had to give over the babies to other Mothers as she is in chronic pain in her hands and needs surgery in both her hands.

Her thumb bone has slipped out of place causing wear to the cartilage. LRTI surgery to remove small bone (trapezium) at the base of the thumb, and then rearranges a nearby tendon to serve as a cushion for the arthritic thumb joint.  Not only that - Carina also has Carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, which needs surgery.
This is due to constant picking up of children over the last 14 years as well as another 65 babies!

They don’t have the money for this and she maxed-out her credit cards and took a personal loan to fix the worst hand. The cost is R55 000 per hand.

She is not sure if and when she can afford the operation for her other hand. Her main concern is not for herself, but for the babies as she can’t pick up the babies and look after them with her hands in this condition. 

She truly makes a difference in the lives of many babies and children and it will be a huge loss if she can’t look after babies any more. 

Can someone please help to pay for her hand operations and also for some of the many and expensive monthly needs of the adopted kids.

Thank you,

Ilse Ganz

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